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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MARTINS, Maria Therezinha et al. Bacteriological quality of groundwater in cermiteries. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1991, vol.25, n.1, pp.47-52. ISSN 1518-8787.

Groundwater samples collected by piezometers from three cemiteries in geologically distinct areas of S. Paulo and Santos, Brazil, were analysed in order to determine their hygienic and sanitary conditions. Fecal coliformes, fecal streptococci, sulfite reducer clostridia and Salmonella were searched for the purpose of evaluating sanitary conditions, and total coliforms, heterotrophic bacteria, proteolitic and lipoli-tic microorganisms for evaluating hygienic conditions. In some samples, nitrate levels were also determined. It was discovered that these waters do not present adequate sanitary and higienic conditions and that, in some cases, nitrate levels were extremelly high (75.7 mg/l). In most samples, higher levels of fecal streptococci and sufite reducer clostridia than fecal coliforms were detected, which seems to show that the two former indicators would be more appropriate for evaluating the sanitary conditions of this kind of water. Salmonella were detected in only one of 44 samples analysed and coliphages in none. In the stastistical analysis, the correlation matrix showed significant correlations among three fecal pollution indicators, as well as among anaerobic and aerobic heterotrophs and lipolitic bacteria. A direct relationship between the deterioration of water quality and the geological and hydrogeological conditions of the environment studied was observed. When cemiteries are constructed these conditions should, therefore, be taken into consideration.

Keywords : Ground water [analysis]; Bacteriological water contamination; Mortuary practices.

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